February 17th is random act of kindness day, and we at Chicks Who Ride Bikes want to spread the love through the thing that connects us – bikes. Do one. Do them all. Do you own thing. Whatever it takes to make someone else smile, expecting nothing in return.
1 Compliment someone’s riding irl or on social
A lot of us can be self-conscious when we ride – how we look, whether we’re crap, anxiety about home life, work stuff or just generally not feeling one hundred.
This #RAOKDay, take the time to jump on instagram (use the hashtag #chickswhoridebikes to find someone) and pay them a compliment expecting nothing in return. Tell them you love their bike. Tell them their body positioning is fantastic. Tell them you love the way they look where they want to go.
If you’re doing this irl, try saying hello to someone you don’t know and add a nice compliment – “I just wanted to tell you that you look so happy when you ride. It makes me smile.”
You never know whose day you’ll make.
2 Phone a friend and organise a bike ride with them
According to our quick poll, 98% of women don’t ride as often as they would like to. Whether it’s to do with work or family commitments, psychosocial issues or just general busy-ness, it’s important that we make time for “me time”. If you’ve noticed a friend you used to ride with has beeen absent a while, or even if it’s someone you know has Big Life Stuff happening at the moment, give them a call and organise a little micro adventure.
If they’re resistent, tell them you’ll buy them coffee and cake afterwards.
3 Donate to a worthy cause
We’re all bike riders here, that’s probably why you follow our page. And because you ride bikes, you know that riding gives you a feeling of freedom, improves your emotional health, connects you with the resources around you and serves as a basis for connection with others.
This #RAOKDay, why not make a donation to one of these charities help to promote biking accessibility and safety to create a bike culture that improves individuals and their communities?
- Bikes4Life – alleviates poverty and social injustice in Australia and overseas by recycling and restoring discarded bikes
- World Bicycle Relief – bring bicycles to people in need
- Qhubeka – allows people to earn bicycles to help them get to jobs, doctors and schools
- Mountain2Mountain – empower women in Afghanistan to create opportunities for them to cycle
4 Thank someone who has made a difference to your riding journey
Whether you ride recreationally, race or commute to work, we all have people in our lives that make riding our bikes possible. It might be a coach. It might be your partner who does the school drop off, your friends who get up at 5am to train with you, your work for choosing to install end of trip facilities…
Whatever it is, take the time to say thanks. It might just be a text. It might be a card or letter… riding bikes is probably an important part of your week when it comes to physical, mental and emotional health and it’s important to recognise those who help you maintain your sanity.
5 Pick up litter on the trails
Although we like to think of ourselves as a clean and green bunch, there are always those who don’t respect the natural beauty of our environment. Make your random act picking up gel packets and random bits of trash you find while you’re out on a bike ride and dispose or recycle the materials correctly.
Even if it’s just a piece or two, you’re helping the environment out than riding past it and pretending it isn’t there.
6 Volunteer with the local trail builder
If you’re a mountain biker, you’ve already enjoyed the fruits of a magical trail fairy’s labour just by getting out for an hour or two… but have you ever seen them at work? Particularly with so much of Australia having been affected by the bushfires, it’s going to be a long road back to getting the trail network to where it was – and it will take a lot of effort from the community.
Do a google search and find the local trail maintenance team in your area, send them a message and tell them you’d like to donate or volunteer to help them out.
7 Donate cycling clothes, parts (or even bikes!) you don’t use anymore
Whether you’re just an apparel addict, you’re not the same size and you were or you bought things in the wrong size – now’s the time to make room in your closet and help someone else start out their collection.
Make your random act of kindness to go through your wardrobe and pull out a few items that are in good knick (get it?!) but that you just don’t wear, and post them as #RAOKGIVEAWAYS in the CWRB Marketplace.
8 Offer to take newbies out for a bike path ride
This is Cathy. She’s our Brisbane CWRB Ambassador and ADORES taking newbies out for rides. Not because she gets paid. Not because it’s low effort. But because she believes in the power of the bicycle, enjoys seeing newvies take on new challenges and because if we want to see 50/50 representation in the bike economy, we need to help support those new to riding bikes.
Make your random act of kindness taking a newbie out for a ride. Doesn’t have to be fast. It doesn’t have to be far. It just has to be full of encouragement and the support of someone who believes they can do it.